“What is my Definition of an MMO” or “MMO Existentialism”
I am an MMO player. I have been an avid MMO players for some time, going on nearly 10 years now. I love this genre of video gaming. There is just something very natural and recognizable about a world where unlikely heroes coalesce and cooperate to defeat the larger threat. A world that goes on when you have logged off and gone to sleep. A world which has it’s own heartbeat.
Lately though, I have struggled to try and define for myself what playing an MMO means to me. Is it that you get to play with more than 30 people? Is it that there is a deeper sense of community through guilds/corporations/forces? Is it the ability to meet random people from around the globe with similar interests in gaming? Or is it something deeper?
The MMO genre has grown almost exponentially in the last decade or so. As the genre expanded, it has also evolved and the qualifications for what makes an MMO has also morphed significantly over time. These days almost anything that features a substantially large number of players playing together is called an MMO. The browser-based MMO reared its head, and today MMOs like Battlestar Galactica are approaching 10 million subscribed users.
I think for me an MMO is all about the people playing it, it is about the community, and the connections and relationships you make along the way.
It is the difference between the dread you feeling logging into Team Fortress 2, not knowing what batch of colossal idiots you might be randomly paired with on your team, vs. logging into a group of dedicated individuals that you trust to have your back in that battleground or that dungeon.
It is the difference between 14-year olds getting high on superior reflexes and calling your mother a orge vs. people that genuinely care for your well-being both in-game and in real life.
It is the difference between RNG screwing you over vs. RNG’s attempts foiled by a well-coordinated team of individuals that strive together for a common objective.
It is the difference between knowing that you won the game for your idiot team vs. knowing that unless you had your friends and guildmates sweating and bleeding next to you, you would never have accomplished that particular objective.
For a casual gamer like me, an MMO is a community, a band of brothers from other mothers and sisters from other misters (I had to!). For me, an MMO is about being able to log in, have fun, play to your heart’s content and have a team that backs you up.
For me, MMOs are all about people.